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Irish FA: We're committed to finishing the season and will explore all avenues

 

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Uncertain time: the Danske Bank Premiership was put on hold in March and must inform Uefa of next steps before May 25

Uncertain time: the Danske Bank Premiership was put on hold in March and must inform Uefa of next steps before May 25

�INPHO/Stephen Hamilton

Uncertain time: the Danske Bank Premiership was put on hold in March and must inform Uefa of next steps before May 25

The Irish FA have declared that they remain intent on finishing the 2019-20 Irish Premiership season and will explore every option to do so.

The statement comes with time slipping away from the football authorities here to make a decision on what happens next in Northern Ireland domestic football.

Uefa need to be informed by the IFA by May 25 if an extension is needed to complete the current campaign.

With Covid-19 ongoing, some clubs feel the wisest option would be to end this season and focus on next term while others would prefer to play on.

There have been no games since early March when the IFA called a halt to football across the country due to the coronavirus. It is tight at both ends of the Irish Premiership with the title a two-horse race between Linfield and Coleraine.

The Blues lead the Bannsiders by four points with seven games left while at the bottom Warrenpoint are three points ahead of Institute, who occupy the automatic relegation slot.

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Should it be deemed impossible to carry on, the IFA, the Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL) and the clubs face huge decisions about the league title, European places, promotion and relegation.

The IFA are not ready to give up on more football being played just yet.

"We have a good working relationship with Uefa and we are keen to get the season finished, as are Uefa. We are having conversations about how to do that. All options will be explored," an IFA spokesperson said.

The statement added that any calls made will be in conjunction with government and medical advice.

It read: "We are aware that anything that happens is done in the framework of medical advice. We will continue to take medical advice and advice from the government."

Finishing the season was on the agenda at a Fixtures Sub-Committee meeting yesterday, as were ideas to do it, while that will also be discussed tomorrow when IFA chief executive Patrick Nelson joins the NIFL Premiership Committee for a video conference.

All involved in the meeting will be aware that time is of the essence to make important decisions with the May 25 Uefa deadline looming.

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